Sunday, July 26, 2009

Steven Raichlen's Grilled Pork Chops "Calzones"

Today I am going to blog about 0ne of Steven Reichlen's MEAT (finally) recipes, that I combined into an Italian evening when paired with the "grilled Antipasto" that I blogged about yesterday. Just a reminder, I am going to be cooking each and every recipe in Steven Raichlen's HOW TO GRILL book. It is a means to an end of my goal of getting better, It is forcing me to challenge myself with new and different items to cook, and it is my personal tribute (rip-off) of the "Julie & Julia Project". Well, finally after three posts about grilling from the book, I have a meat recipe to talk about. And this one worked perfectly!... so, on to the recipes.

Grilled Pork Chops "Calzones"
The recipe is on page 134
basic introductory instructions with several photos starting on page 131.

I do not want to step on any one's toes, and do not want to publish someones recipe without permission. If you are interested, contact your local library and they will have this book, or better yet, add it to your library and buy the book if you want the details.

I do want to post some details about the recipe that I either liked, chose to do differently from Steven's and what I learned.

First off, the universe converged into a perfect storm of beauty for this one. I have not informed Mrs. My Year on the Grill of my plans to cook everything in the book. I am sure she would not be encouraging of the rotisserie whole lamb or the whole pig roast, so I am going to break it to her slowly. BUT, I did hand her the book, and offered her the chance to pick a recipe. Last year, we enjoyed a quickie vacation in New Orleans, and dined out at one of Emeril's properties, NOLA. My wife really enjoyed a cheese stuffed pork chop there, and I have been looking for the recipe ever since. This one was not it, but The little lady picked it anyway. But, in addition to pleasing my wife, when I got to my favorite meat provider, I found the extra thick, butterfly pork chops on sale. These cost me less than a dollar each!

The recipe is very easy, especially with the chops already butterflied. As you probably know, a calzone is a pastry stuffed with meats cheeses and sauce. These were stuffed with pepperoni, ham and provolone cheese. I used an excellent cheese that, even though small amounts were used, filled the chops with flavor. It was a very good recipe.

Only procedural problem I had was the recipe calling for toothpicks soaked in oil to make their removal easier. Well, they did not remove easily. I had to warn the guests that they were there, and to be careful as they cut into them. One fully thing, Herme (one of my guests) commented upon her first taste that it, "tastes like a calzone". So I guess Stephen named it well.

The recipe does call for two bay leaves inside the stuffing, plus a sage leave on the outside. That seems a bit much to me, but the chops certainly tasted fine. Just hated to spend the money on two spices when I saved on the chops and envisioned these less expensive. But, I made the commitment to cook as written.

So, my bottom line question for this recipe... Would I make it again? If yes, would I imagine changes to make it better?

I would certainly make these again. I thank that I would add a tomato gravy to the chops to finish off the Italian calzone tastes. Possibly add it as it cooks the last 5 minutes or so. As written I think the tomatoes would add something tot he recipe.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this gets a 4. I really liked it, but some type of liquid at the end would have added an extra layer of taste.

So far, Stephen has given me 3 highly rated recipes and only 1 that I would not make again. So far, very very good.

Didn't these plump up nicely!

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